Survey Says, “We Are People of Faith”

For Immediate Release, Friday August 21, 2009

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

A survey of 9,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans by George Barna, a well-known evangelical pollster, reports that 70 percent of queer adults describe themselves as Christian and 60 percent say their faith is “very important” in their lives. These figures are only slightly lower than the general population, which records 85 and 70 percent on those rankings, respectively.  Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns applauds these findings.  They support what many of us have known anecdotally for many years.  We are indeed people of faith.

Nor is this survey flavored by a basis on behalf of the author.  Barna, is known as a Bible-believing, born-again Christian.  He himself comments that the numbers demonstrate that what some assume to be “popular stereotypes about the spiritual life of gays and lesbians are simply wrong.”

The survey’s authors note that the process of self-acceptance and coming out is parallel to the journey of spiritual discovery and acceptance.  Many of us find these two paths very closely intertwined.  In order for us to be able to come out and accept the gift from God of our orientation, we have to wrestle with and closely examine scripture and traditional church teachings.  Our coming out starts us on our faith journey.  Our faith journey leads to our coming out. An additional result of this exploration is that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons become very active members of which ever denomination and congregation they eventually choose to join.

Affirmation encourages all United Methodists to read and consider this report.  As The United Methodist Church faces continued struggles to both attract and retain active members, we hope that all levels of the church will recognize the gifts we bring to Christ’s table.

The report is available at http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/282-spiritual-profile-of-homosexual-adults-provides-surprising-insights

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As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church as we journey with the Spirit in creating God’s beloved community.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

How to Contact Us: email: umaffirmation@... Affirmation web: http://www.umaffirm.org